Art & Copy (2009)
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Critic Reviews for Art & Copy
Pray inserts facts that are eye-popping (the food industry spends $34 billion annually on ads) and alarming (every year, the average child sees 20,000 TV commercials).
Art & Copy offers an intriguing -- some might say frightening -- glimpse into the world that has prompted a generation of Americans to religiously tune into the Super Bowl just to watch those short movies that sell product.
They are the giants of modern advertising, and they have some alluring tales to tell.
An entertaining but also oddly naive documentary about American advertising.
When all is said and done, Art & Copy is little more than an ad for advertising.
Occasionally Art & Copy becomes an advertisement for advertising -- some of the talking heads are a little self-congratulatory -- but it offers plenty of food for thought. And makes it taste good, too.
Audience Reviews for Art & Copy
This doc turns its camera, early in its run time, on a young man who's family has worked putting up highway billboards for several generations. He admits he does not know anyone who makes advertisements and then the film seems to forget him. My wife was assigned to watch this by her television promotions and advertising department. It is a mixed bag of talking heads giving bits of history and insight at varying levels of engrossment. I was most interested in those who talked about innovations in combining graphics (art) and print (copy). The few super bowl ads that are highlighted and how they came to be were also lots of fun.
A bit dry, and a bit inside, but this is a film for ad geeks that focuses on advertising since the big change: the day that art directors and copy writers started collaborating to produce not just ads, but the ideas behind the ads. It used to be that writers would write their copy, then send it to the art directors, who would lay it out. The new model has resulted in the creative pairing most agencies now use: one art director, one copy writer, and with any luck, one good ad. This approach has had such success that it has even moved into the newspaper world, more or less killing layout departments and resulting in software for "page ownership", which turns the copy editor into an editor, photo editor and layout artist all at once, as in the end they produce one vertically integrated page. This is the insight I took away from the first half-hour, and the bit about newspapers is me applying that insight to my own past work experience. After thinking through this, I watched the film alternate between self-congratulatory interviews with the creators of major campaigns - for VW Beetle, MacIntosh, Air Jordan and other products - and disembodied stats about how many ads we all see in a day, lifetime etc. An interesting series of anecdotes that lets you inside some big industry brains and even bigger successes, but you have got to LOVE advertising to really enjoy this one.
Interesting look at advertisement, messages. Not so much design, but more about the story behind it and how they thought outside the box to develop an innovative message.
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